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Photography Forum Recommendation

At present I'm in the process of investigating scanning options for sixty year old black and white film.  But before that I have to solve the film problems.

This film is probably dusty and perhaps dirty.  It is also folded and rolled up.

What I am looking for is a photography forum - probably old school - that can make suggestions on handling this stuff.   Comments on how to handle this stuff are welcome.

I've done some Googling and have some ideas and thoughts but would welcome others, especially as to which forum to go to.
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2 Solutions
I recommend photo.net

They have many topic sections where I am sure you will be able to get good feedback from.

Site undergoing maintainance but back soon:
Paul SauvéCommented:
Are you scanning photos or negatives?

Here is a good article on what resolution to use when you scan b&w photos: Scanning 101: Setting the Right Resolution

Here is a good site for all things photography: dpreview.com, although the forum can be a bit technical - but I find that's the best way to learn. Here is another place I go for general information: PCWorld Digital Focus Blog.

Of course, to save time, you should have a good b&w workflow!
dbruntonAuthor Commented:
Actually scanning photos, slides and negatives.

The photos have been done.  The slides are being done, I'm using a Pacific Image PowerSlide.  It is no Nikon CoolScan but the resolution is good enough.  And I can scan 50 or so at a time.

The negatives are either 35 mm colour or old black and white 120/620 film.  The 35 mm can wait for the moment.  I am considering various options for that.

It is the black and white film that I am looking at.  I probably won't be scanning those myself as I probably can't justify the cost of a scanning unit for the amount of work.  

But I have to clean them and straighten them.   They date from the 1950s and earlier.  Some of these films are rolls and not cut strips.   They have been stored over the years and have set into shape.   Some of these are rolls and some of these are a sort of peanut shape
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Paul SauvéCommented:
Hi - from my ubderstanding, the Pacific Image PowerSlide 3650 can also be used to scan negatives. You can also purchase 3rd party software some of which say thet the give you improved results (SilverFast Scanner Software).

I recently purchased a small ITNS-500 Slide/Negative scanner, but I don't have hundreds of negs to scan.

To clean up the images, I convert to tif. Once the image has been cleaned up, I save the final result as jpg. Apparently, every time you do an open - modify - save cycle with the same jpg file, you lose some quality. This does not happen with tif.

You can use free software to clean up your images (ex.: GIMP, RawTherapee). RawTherapee is normally used for RAW files, but you can process tif files as well. You can use the "batch processing" function to apply the same changes to many images at a time. Other free software with batch processing you can look at: Photoscape 3.6.2 and FastStone Image Viewer 4.6 .

dbruntonAuthor Commented:
Yep, it is the PowerSlide 3650.  My 35 mm negatives are in strips so if I want to use them in the PowerSlide I'd have to cut them and frame them in a slide carrier.  It is possible that I might go that way but I hope not to.

I use Vuescan from http://www.hamrick.com/ rather than the PowerSlide's software.  Much better and more portable than Silverfast.  The Silverfast typically handles only one type of scanner while the Vuescan handles a wider range.  The Vuescan Professional Edition gives you unlimited upgrades and you can use it on four different machines.

For cleaning up the images the infra-red dust reduction facilities on the PowerSlide (usable by Vuescan) do 99% of my work for me.  There is a wide range of image touh up software available.  I use Paint.NET and Artweaver.

For batch processing (conversion from one format to another) also consider Irfanview.
Paul SauvéCommented:
I also use Paint.NET, but as I mentioned, RawTherapee
The Batch processing is the capability of editing several images at the same time in the 'File
Browser' tab. That's why there's a tool editor on the right of it.
In other words, if you have a series of slides from the same roll of film, they may be under- or overexposed by the same amount. You can apply the same correction to the series which saves a lot of time. And you can still tweak each slide before saving. I find this quite handy
dbruntonAuthor Commented:

Now that looks very very interesting.  Appreciated.
dbruntonAuthor Commented:
Much appreciated recommendations and comments.

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